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Posted by on in News

b2ap3_thumbnail_performance2.jpgIt has been a momentous year at the College of Adaptive Arts with our recent vendorization from San Andreas Regional Center as well as the creation of our 8th School of Instruction: School of Science and Technology.

This past year, we’ve had 4 corporate investors step up to underwrite a College of Adaptive Arts School of Instruction, which means we are seeking just 4 more corporate investors to have each of our 8 schools underwritten this fiscal year.

These investments have helped the CAA golf team execute another outstanding golf tournament, have helped to bring on a School of Television and Film Professor of Videography and Editing, and have helped the School of Music construct a professional music recording studio.

The ROI for your investment is giving adults with special needs viable, creative, and constructive paths to become successful contributing citizens by maximizing their abilities in the arts, health, and wellness. Adults who historically have not had access to a collegiate education are finally being educated in an equitable, accessible environment which validates and cultivates their abilities. Students, professors, and parents and careproviders have renewed hope that their skills can be utilized and illuminated to make this world a better place. And it has happened because of local, private investor support.

Here are our 8 Schools of Instruction, classes included within each school, and underwriting opportunities:

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Poetry Gives Voices to the Voiceless

by Danie Weaver, Director, School of Communications

Poetry and I have had a love and hate relationship. While I was a child, poetry was my outlet.  At family parties I shared fun poems about my thoughts and feelings about the holiday. Poetry was full of beautiful images of feelings, colors and traditions. However, that impression of poetry changed when I went to college. The professor had the belief that poetry was the author’s hidden agenda and not about nature, feelings, or beautiful imagery. It was just devoid words on a page emotion. And most of the analysis of said poetry was regurgitated back to please my professor.  I began to hate poetry. College also became the time that I discovered that I had a learning disability that corresponded mostly to math, formulas, and also correlated with grammar.  I trudged through and I graduated with my Bachelors in English with the belief of two things:

  1. I would never teach!
  2. I would avoid poetry at all costs!

All of these ideas changed when I got diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2011. Poetry was my solace for all the questions, emotions, and just navigating the new normal of being a cancer patient. Poetry was also not constricted with grammar. I could write whole lines void of grammar, lines of poetry that flowed through my pen to the page much like questions that ran through my head.  Poetry with its freedom allowed me to focus and control one aspect of my life.  I’ve often found solace in writing, but my poetry wasn’t hiding behind a character.  It was fully me.  All of me exposed.

While I was having cancer treatments, since my husband was working, I needed to have people stay with me during the day.  I got the chance to observe a Showboaters class at College of Adaptive Arts.  My younger sister was attending this class.  I was impressed with the amount of respect given to the students. I knew I wanted to be part of the organization. So I connected with the Dean and said I could teach Poetry.  Apparently my life plan had changed, because now I was okay with poetry and teaching.

The dean jumped at the idea of a poetry class and I started an evening class with four students. I was unaware how much independent writing they could do.  I led them through an “I Am poem,” a basic poetry form, which engages the writer in simple but poignant statements from feelings to the physical world. The answers were simple but complex, beautiful and normal. I realized that my students had a unique way of viewing the world. The greatest praise I received for that class was that one of my students felt smart for the first time in his life.

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Greetings from the S.S. Cardinal

by Pamela Lindsay

It is hard to believe our ship has reached Spring 2016. Our first CAA quarter in the fall of 2009 seems oceans away. How far the journey has taken us...and how many journeys lie ahead for our amazing star students! We acknowledge the five foundational points that create those shooting stars.

First, our student families who continue to support and inform the mission of CAA and vision for ongoing growth of new and exciting opportunities for changing perceptions of ability.

Second, our staff of teachers and administrators who hear that information and act on it to support dreams and convert them to tangible actions and programs propelling students toward their goals.

Third, our executive board who gift us with their desire to be acknowledged as cheerleaders and messengers of the work being done by CAA's staff and students. Their presence within our CAA community elevates awareness and recognition of the importance and talents of our star students.

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by DeAnna Pursai

It is truly most inspirational to watch the College of Adaptive Arts continue to come into fruition as more passionate and committed students, families, and visionaries find and support the College of adaptive Arts.  CAA in many ways parallels the qualities of the rich and robust innovative start-ups in the valley. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_graduationcheering.jpgCAA is forging into unchartered territory by providing a service and model for adults with special that has rarely been tried before.  It’s not a day program; students over the age of 18 simply sign up for the 1 ½ hour-long courses that they are interested in taking.  CAA does not have a fixed period an adult can only attend, nor or a cap on an age limit.  It’s not a pure arts program: CAA offers 8 distinct schools of instruction, including the Schools of Music, Dance, Theatre, TV/Film, Art, Communications, Health & Wellness & Science & Technology. 

CAA is building its own accreditation system of units and courses which are private and nontransferable, but nonetheless based squarely in best practices in adult learning theory and special needs education.  CAA provides a lifelong, equitable collegiate experience to adults with special needs who can and want to be successful contributing citizens, but where a junior-college level Associate’s degree will not be within reach.

CAA also does not serve just one type or degree of adult with special need.  CAA has students with Down syndrome, autism, medical fragilities such as epilepsy, cancer, & diabetes, adults with cerebral palsy, blindness, and developmental delays.  CAA serves students who are perceived as high-functioning and students who are very shy, nonverbal, and need to attend with a careprovider.  CAA does not do medication, toileting, babysitting, or behavior – the bar is set high with the expectations that these adult students want to be there to learn, create, and contribute.

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Dean's Blog - 2/28/2016

by Pamela Lindsay

Hello from the decks of our trusty CAA ship! As we sail past the end of the Winter quarter toward Spring '16, we are excited about the opportunities on the near horizon. The students can see opportunities in growing departments of study and fresh experiences with their experienced professors at the wheel. Our staff members see opportunities for growth of collaborations with current and new community partners. The student families are enjoying the ride, watching their Cardinals navigate their varied environments of study and performance.

CAA's network of supportive organizations and friends of the college are providing safe and exciting ports for the sharing of these diverse experiences. As founders, DeAnna and I are excited to see through the end of our telescope the real manifestation of visions held since inception in 2009. New vendorization of classes means that our students with a passion for lifelong learning through CAA's unique channel of liberal arts and performance are able to officially look forward to such goals.

This unique vendorization provides an extra stamp on our passport that will be very important while traveling through current and future zones of work. It also charts a new and less traveled course on our mission map. The phenomenal and committed CAA board sees opportunities for trailblazing on behalf of the students with continued, inspiring passion and commitment. We are looking forward to their generation of great steam while powering ahead.

There is much to do as we push off into these new waters. We therefore thank you for your ongoing generosity of support, offered in so many different ways. This is your vessel! Let's load up, open the sails, and follow the brilliant constellations created by the talents of each of our students' big, bright stars!

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